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Archives November 2019

SLAS How To Choose Laminate Flooring For Your Home

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Laminate flooring is relatively new to us in the U.S. Laminate flooring has been used for years in homes and businesses in Europe. Laminate flooring is a hard flooring surface which is actually layered during manufacture. A laminate floor consists of a top wear layer, which is generally aluminum oxide, which is very long lasting, a print layer which is the pattern of your choice (hardwood or ceramic), an inner core, and a backing, which are fused together. The choices availab…

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Laminate flooring is relatively new to us in the U.S. Laminate flooring has been used for years in homes and businesses in Europe. Laminate flooring is a hard flooring surface which is actually layered during manufacture. A laminate floor consists of a top wear layer, which is generally aluminum oxide, which is very long lasting, a print layer which is the pattern of your choice (hardwood or ceramic), an inner core, and a backing, which are fused together. The choices available in laminate flooring today are astounding. Laminate floors can be made to resemble almost any other type of floor surface, with the most popular being hardwood and ceramic tile.

Many manufacturers today offer laminate hardwood flooring, which is hard to tell from the real thing. However, care is where laminate flooring is king. Laminates are extremely durable, however care must be taken not to let them get over wet as some paper backings are not as durable as others. Some manufacturers will not cover laminate flooring that is installed in a bathroom.

Laminate floors are what installers consider “floating flooring”. Unlike vinyl or linoleum laminate floors are not attached to the sub floor. Laminate floors come as tongue and groove plants which are fastened to each other with adhesive. Depending on the under layer of flooring some laminate floors can be installed right over existing floors of wood, vinyl, linoleum or tile. Laminate flooring cannot be installed over carpeting.

Most major floor manufacturers today carry laminate flooring, such as Armstrong, Pergo, Mohawk, Mannington and Bruce.

As with choosing any flooring for your home there are general considerations; what is your interior scheme? Do you want a light floor or dark floor? Light hardwood flooring is generally used in more relaxed and country atmospheres, where dark colored hardwood flooring is used in more formal homes. Patterned flooring that has grains or other types of shading will not show dirt as quickly as solid flooring will. Dark floors will make a room look smaller, light flooring will make a room look larger.

Laminate floors are very easy care. As always you will want to read the manufacturers instructions. Generally they only need a vacuum and slightly damp mopping. Do not over apply water which can seep through the cracks in the floor and behind baseboards and cause damage. Laminate flooring does not need any wax or floor finish applied to it.

Serial Killers

Countess Erszebet Bathory was a breathtakingly beautiful, unusually well-educated woman, married to a descendant of Vlad Dracula of Bram Stoker fame. In 1611, she was tried – though, being a noblewoman, not convicted – in Hungary for slaughtering 612 young girls. The true figure may have been 40-100, though the Countess recorded in her diary more than 610 girls and 50 bodies were found in her estate when it was raided.
The Countess was notorious as an inhuman sadist long before her hygienic fixation. She once ordered the mouth of a talkative servant sewn. It is rumoured that in her childhood she witnessed a gypsy being sewn into a horse’s stomach and left to die.
The girls were not killed outright. They were kept in a dungeon and repeatedly pierced, prodded, pricked, and cut. The Countess may have bitten chunks of flesh off their bodies while alive. She is said to have bathed and showered in their blood in the mistaken belief that she could thus slow down the aging process.
Her servants were executed, their bodies burnt and their ashes scattered. Being royalty, she was merely confined to her bedroom until she died in 1614. For a hundred years after her death, by royal decree, mentioning her name in Hungary was a crime.
Cases like Barothy’s give the lie to the assumption that serial killers are a modern – or even post-modern – phenomenon, a cultural-societal construct, a by-product of urban alienation, Althusserian interpellation, and media glamorization. Serial killers are, indeed, largely made, not born. But they are spawned by every culture and society, molded by the idiosyncrasies of every period as well as by their personal circumstances and genetic makeup.
Still, every crop of serial killers mirrors and reifies the pathologies of the milieu, the depravity of the Zeitgeist, and the malignancies of the Leitkultur. The choice of weapons, the identity and range of the victims, the methodology of murder, the disposal of the bodies, the geography, the sexual perversions and paraphilias – are all informed and inspired by the slayer’s environment, upbringing, community, socialization, education, peer group, sexual orientation, religious convictions, and personal narrative. Movies like “Born Killers”, “Man Bites Dog”, “Copycat”, and the Hannibal Lecter series captured this truth.
Serial killers are the quiddity and quintessence of malignant narcissism.
Yet, to some degree, we all are narcissists. Primary narcissism is a universal and inescapable developmental phase. Narcissistic traits are common and often culturally condoned. To this extent, serial killers are merely our reflection through a glass darkly.
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“The new narcissist is haunted not by guilt but by anxiety. He seeks not to inflict his own certainties on others but to find a meaning in life. Liberated from the superstitions of the past, he doubts even the reality of his own existence … His sexual attitudes are permissive rather than puritanical, even though his emancipation from ancient taboos brings him no sexual peace.
Fiercely competitive in his demand for approval and acclaim, he distrusts competition because he associates it unconsciously with an unbridled urge to destroy … He (harbours) deeply antisocial impulses. He praises respect for rules and regulations in the secret belief that they do not apply to himself. Acquisitive in the sense that his cravings have no limits, he … demands immediate gratification and lives in a state of restless, perpetually unsatisfied desire.”
The narcissist’s pronounced lack of empathy, off-handed exploitativeness, grandiose fantasies and uncompromising sense of entitlement make him treat all people as though they were objects (he “objectifies” people). The narcissist regards others as either useful conduits for and sources of narcissistic supply (attention, adulation, etc.) – or as extensions of himself.
Similarly, serial killers often mutilate their victims and abscond with trophies – usually, body parts. Some of them have been known to eat the organs they have ripped – an act of merging with the dead and assimilating them through digestion. They treat their victims as some children do their rag dolls.
Killing the victim – often capturing him or her on film before the murder – is a form of exerting unmitigated, absolute, and irreversible control over it. The serial killer aspires to “freeze time” in the still perfection that he has choreographed. The victim is motionless and defenseless. The killer attains long sought “object permanence”. The victim is unlikely to run on the serial assassin, or vanish as earlier objects in the killer’s life (e.g., his parents) have done.
In malignant narcissism, the true self of the narcissist is replaced by a false construct, imbued with omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. The narcissist’s thinking is magical and infantile. He feels immune to the consequences of his own actions. Yet, this very source of apparently superhuman fortitude is also the narcissist’s Achilles heel.
The narcissist’s personality is chaotic. His defense mechanisms are primitive. The whole edifice is precariously balanced on pillars of denial, splitting, projection, rationalization, and projective identification. Narcissistic injuries – life crises, such as abandonment, divorce, financial difficulties, incarceration, public opprobrium – can bring the whole thing tumbling down. The narcissist cannot afford to be rejected, spurned, insulted, hurt, resisted, criticized, or disagreed with.
Likewise, the serial killer is trying desperately to avoid a painful relationship with his object of desire. He is terrified of being abandoned or humiliated, exposed for what he is and then discarded. Many killers often have sex – the ultimate form of intimacy – with the corpses of their victims. Objectification and mutilation allow for unchallenged possession.
Devoid of the ability to empathize, permeated by haughty feelings of superiority and uniqueness, the narcissist cannot put himself in someone else’s shoes, or even imagine what it means. The very experience of being human is alien to the narcissist whose invented False Self is always to the fore, cutting him off from the rich panoply of human emotions.
Thus, the narcissist believes that all people are narcissists. Many serial killers believe that killing is the way of the world. Everyone would kill if they could or were given the chance to do so. Such killers are convinced that they are more honest and open about their desires and, thus, morally superior. They hold others in contempt for being conforming hypocrites, cowed into submission by an overweening establishment or society.
The narcissist seeks to adapt society in general – and meaningful others in particular – to his needs. He regards himself as the epitome of perfection, a yardstick against which he measures everyone, a benchmark of excellence to be emulated. He acts the guru, the sage, the “psychotherapist”, the “expert”, the objective observer of human affairs. He diagnoses the “faults” and “pathologies” of people around him and “helps” them “improve”, “change”, “evolve”, and “succeed” – i.e., conform to the narcissist’s vision and wishes.
Serial killers also “improve” their victims – slain, intimate objects – by “purifying” them, removing “imperfections”, depersonalizing and dehumanizing them. This type of killer saves its victims from degeneration and degradation, from evil and from sin, in short: from a fate worse than death.
The killer’s megalomania manifests at this stage. He claims to possess, or have access to, higher knowledge and morality. The killer is a special being and the victim is “chosen” and should be grateful for it. The killer often finds the victim’s ingratitude irritating, though sadly predictable.
In his seminal work, “Aberrations of Sexual Life” (originally: “Psychopathia Sexualis”), quoted in the book “Jack the Ripper” by Donald Rumbelow, Kraft-Ebbing offers this observation:
“The perverse urge in murders for pleasure does not solely aim at causing the victim pain and – most acute injury of all – death, but that the real meaning of the action consists in, to a certain extent, imitating, though perverted into a monstrous and ghastly form, the act of defloration. It is for this reason that an essential component … is the employment of a sharp cutting weapon; the victim has to be pierced, slit, even chopped up … The chief wounds are inflicted in the stomach region and, in many cases, the fatal cuts run from the vagina into the abdomen. In boys an artificial vagina is even made … One can connect a fetishistic element too with this process of hacking … inasmuch as parts of the body are removed and … made into a collection.”
Yet, the sexuality of the serial, psychopathic, killer is self-directed. His victims are props, extensions, aides, objects, and symbols. He interacts with them ritually and, either before or after the act, transforms his diseased inner dialog into a self-consistent extraneous catechism. The narcissist is equally auto-erotic. In the sexual act, he merely masturbates with other – living – people’s bodies.
The narcissist’s life is a giant repetition complex. In a doomed attempt to resolve early conflicts with significant others, the narcissist resorts to a restricted repertoire of coping strategies, defense mechanisms, and behaviors. He seeks to recreate his past in each and every new relationship and interaction. Inevitably, the narcissist is invariably confronted with the same outcomes. This recurrence only reinforces the narcissist’s rigid reactive patterns and deep-set beliefs. It is a vicious, intractable, cycle.
Correspondingly, in some cases of serial killers, the murder ritual seemed to have recreated earlier conflicts with meaningful objects, such as parents, authority figures, or peers. The outcome of the replay is different to the original, though. This time, the killer dominates the situation.
The killings allow him to inflict abuse and trauma on others rather than be abused and traumatized. He outwits and taunts figures of authority – the police, for instance. As far as the killer is concerned, he is merely “getting back” at society for what it did to him. It is a form of poetic justice, a balancing of the books, and, therefore, a “good” thing. The murder is cathartic and allows the killer to release hitherto repressed and pathologically transformed aggression – in the form of hate, rage, and envy.
But repeated acts of escalating gore fail to alleviate the killer’s overwhelming anxiety and depression. He seeks to vindicate his negative introjects and sadistic superego by being caught and punished. The serial killer tightens the proverbial noose around his neck by interacting with law enforcement agencies and the media and thus providing them with clues as to his identity and whereabouts. When apprehended, most serial assassins experience a great sense of relief.
Serial killers are not the only objectifiers – people who treat others as objects. To some extent, leaders of all sorts – political, military, or corporate – do the same. In a range of demanding professions – surgeons, medical doctors, judges, law enforcement agents – objectification efficiently fends off attendant horror and anxiety.
Yet, serial killers are different. They represent a dual failure – of their own development as full-fledged, productive individuals – and of the culture and society they grow in. In a pathologically narcissistic civilization – social anomies proliferate. Such societies breed malignant objectifiers – people devoid of empathy – also known as “narcissists”.

SCMC Improve Your Home’s Value


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Self-Defense Within Martial Arts Training Demands a Real-World Perspective

This story is being offered in response to a request made by my teacher, Soke (Grand Master) Masaaki Hatsumi, during a recent training visit to Japan. During one of the training sessions, Soke was suggesting that everyone, regardless of rank, should make it a point to talk to those with actual combat experience and to learn from these people. The point was, if you do not know what a real fight is like, you will not be able to train properly for an authentic situation.
I was asked to share some of my experience in dealing with an attack and the following story came to mind. Though I have much experience with dealing with danger and dangerous people, this particular situation stands out as both a successful outcome where I was able to use some of my ninpo-taijutsu martial arts training, and a learning experience where I was actually able to control both my awareness and response, instead of mentally shutting down and “hoping” for the best.
The incident occurred many years ago while I was stationed in, what was then, West Germany. I was serving with the United States Army Military Police Corps. My partner and I were called to respond to a unit where a serviceman was assaulting others, including the officer-in-charge.
When we arrived at, what we thought was, the location of the incident, there was no one but the Charge of Quarters present. He had no idea about the incident. What none of us knew was that the ‘problem’ was occurring next door and moving in our direction.
While my partner and I were confirming the call with our superiors, the attacker entered the building where we were. He was obviously intoxicated and shouting racial insults and demanding satisfaction before he started a ‘real war.’ By the smell of him, he had been drinking heavily and primarily whiskey. His clothes showed signs of a struggle and at this point I wasn’t sure if I was facing an attacker or the victim of an assault.
I immediately tried to calm the individual and find out what the problem was. As I was doing this, several other soldiers, including the command duty officer entered the building and became involved. The belligerent soldier was going on with his racial attacks and how he was attacked by what he thought were his friends. It was then that he turned his attention to me and began implying that he had martial arts experience and “didn’t have to prove himself to anyone.”
During this, and later after interviewing witnesses, we found that the individual had tested for his black belt in another martial art earlier that day and was out ‘celebrating’ with his friends. Witnesses testified that the more intoxicated he became, the more he started “showing off” to his friends which involved hitting and kicking. Eventually, his friends had had enough and then attempted to stop his obnoxious behavior by pushing him away and leaving him behind. This only made him more “playful” at which time he jumped on his friends resulting in them throwing him down on the ground. It was this that finally enraged him enough to chase them to the barracks and begin attacking others.
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I ordered the soldier back and before I knew what was happening, I sensed his fist coming up between our bodies toward my jaw. I rode off the strike which landed before I could evade and then backed out as he began to flail widely with both arms at my head and body. I remember taking up a hoko-like position (a guarding posture in ninjutsu designed to create a protective ‘bubble’ that is difficult for the attacker to get through) to cover against the incoming attacks and having to simultaneously deal with an officer who thought that I was the one doing the attacking!
At one point, I realized that his right arm had wrapped around my left forearm and that a ‘musha-dori-like thing’ (uplifting elbow – shoulder dislocating technique) was happening. I remember moving to capture his balance and laid him down when suddenly his feet went out from under him. Later I found out that, in an attempt to help, my partner chose that moment to sweep my assailant’s legs out from under him. I felt the soldier’s shoulder give way as I applied the lock and took him down. This didn’t help with the anxiety and emotional pressure I was dealing with as I was now worried about a possible ‘police brutality’ charge for excessive force.
This injury didn’t deter his aggression though as he continued to fight against our restraint. We were finally able to subdue him and get him onto his stomach to be handcuffed when his wife and young child entered the building. I don’t know how they found out about the situation but there they were. I felt sad for them and was only able to give a look of apology for having to do this. Again, more stress was added in that I didn’t want to have to physically hurt this man in front of his family.
Unfortunately, their presence only served to escalate the problem. When the soldier became aware of his wife and child, he blamed my partner and I for his “embarrassment” and began to fight against his restraint again. I am not a big man and this soldier’s build was easily 150% of my own size and weight, so holding him was a serious problem. Having to improvise and immobilize the man, I placed my night stick between the handcuff chain and his back and applied leverage against his spine which created a situation where he would only hurt himself with his continued resistance. This was only necessary for a moment or two, as he passes out from his exertion.
As I related during my initial telling of the story at the Hombu Dojo (‘main training hall’0 in Noda-city, Japan, my legs begin to shake and I can feel my breathing change as I recall this situation and many others like it. It does not control me or the way I go through my life in the ordinary sense that I am not afraid to associate with people or the like. What it has done is imprinted on me much more than just a step-by-step memory of the events, and I’m sure that my recollection of these is less than accurate because the experience was much more emotional and from what Soke has called “budo-nerves” orientation or perspective than from any sort of memorized technique string.
I will simply end this by saying that, this situation is one that has forever changed my perspective on how I should train, and as a teacher, how I should train my students. It has taught me that kata-like, step-by-step training is only a piece of the training puzzle but, anyone who believes that they will fight this way is deluding themselves. Conversely, it has also taught me that training that is just henka-based, where the basics like cover, distance and the like are not drilled until they become second-nature and the student just “does whatever” in an attempt to imitate (his or her teacher) is also deluded. This type of practice is necessary but, again, only a piece.
I am in complete agreement with Soke when he points out that it is the ability to go between the animal instinct response required for surviving an attack and returning to the civilized state to live a happy life, unstained by fear, defensiveness or antisocial behavior because of the attack that should be the goal.
Let me also say that, I respect Soke and the Shihan master instructors that I train with. But, not simply because they are Soke and the Shihan. I respect these people and continue to train in this art precisely because my own experience with having to handle danger tells me that what they have to offer is authentic and “on the mark” with that experience. Because I know that should I ever be attacked again, it will be the lessons that I have learned from them and not my admiration of them or their abilities that will help to insure that my family gets to have me around a little while longer. In a world filled with martial artists and instructors who want trophies, admiration and to ‘look good,’ it is comforting to know that there are still those who have what the true warrior needs to create a life worth living and the power to protect that life from whatever might harm it.

ACPM Plastic versus Poly: polywood furniture folding adirondack chair


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To find the best Basement Repairs New Jersey company, click here for Ashcroft Paving And Masonry. Poly-Wood outdoor furniture which is a name brand for recycled poly lumber furniture. PolyWood outdoor furniture may cost you more initially however is a far wiser investment when you consider the longevity of the outdoor furniture and the virtually maintenance free qualities. Poly-Wood outdoor furniture is backed by a manufacturer’s warranty which promises that it will not rust, split or splinter. PolyWood outdoor furniture uses commercial grade stainless steel with an additional “Xylan” protective and cosmetic coating. All these features intentionally planned to create sustainable outdoor furniture built to last a lifetime.

Poly-Wood outdoor furniture is available in a wide variety of styles to complement any outdoor environment. You will find the classic Adirondack chair in several styles and a minimum of six traditional colors and six bright, vivid colors. Also, you can find Traditional Benches, Rockers, Gliders, Dining and Bistro Tables, Dining Chairs and Bistro Chairs and Swings all made out of sustainable PolyWood outdoor furniture.

In the end you need to decide whether you are interested in sustainable PolyWood outdoor furniture for a lifetime of enjoyment that will withstand high winds and blazing sun. Or you can go with lightweight plastic furniture that will blow in the breeze, chalk and crack after a few years of use and then be tossed aside to further fill our overflowing landfills.

SLAS How To Choose Fireplace Screens To Enhance Your Home

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Before, Americans used fireplaces in order to provide heat inside the home. With modern heating appliances and central or under floor heating, fireplaces have become more of a pursuit in architecture and made a decoration rather than the primary method of heating your home. Fireplaces can become the focal points of living rooms with the help of beautiful yet functional fireplace accessories such as screens, irons, log racks, and more. From among these hearth accessories, be i…

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Before, Americans used fireplaces in order to provide heat inside the home. With modern heating appliances and central or under floor heating, fireplaces have become more of a pursuit in architecture and made a decoration rather than the primary method of heating your home. Fireplaces can become the focal points of living rooms with the help of beautiful yet functional fireplace accessories such as screens, irons, log racks, and more. From among these hearth accessories, be it an off-the-shelf or custom designer solution, a fireplace can become more attractive and have more character with the installation of fireplace screens.

1. Fireplace Screen Design

Traditional Fireplace Screen

These are fireplace screens that are simple and classic in design. These are usually clean to look at and can work with any interior theme decoration. Traditional fireplace screens are made from brass or copper. These could have a single panel to several ones. They come in various sizes, styles and finishes and you can never go wrong with them.

Antique Design

Fireplace screens categorized as antique are usually associated to rooms that are Victorian themed, rich in tapestries and are characterized as elegant. These types of fireplace screens are designed with rounded designs such as those that represent elegance such as swirls, flowers and scrolls. These screens designed for formal houses with fireplaces should be matched with other coordinating fireplace tools and log rack to make them more attractive.

Designer Fireplace Screens

These functional types of screens are typically stylish and are designed to set a balance and harmonize with a room’s d cor. These screens are recommended to be displayed and used with their accompanying fireplace tools and log rack.

Outdoor Fireplace Screens

These screens are versatile and give tribute from their design the different outdoor activities such as fishing, golfing, hunting, hiking, etc. These usually have a black finish and can blend into any theme or decorations. Just like the other fireplace screen designs, makes sure that its coordinating accessories go with it.

2. Fireplace Screen Color

Be it a designer, traditional or antique fireplace screen, choose those that complement the dominant color of the room where you are going to place this. For rooms whose dominant colors are considered cool such as green, green-blue, blue, violet, blue-violet, violet and violet-red, the best fireplace screens would be the ones finished in black, white, aluminum, pewter, stainless steel and brass. For rooms whose dominant color is warm such as red, orange, red-orange, yellow, yellow-orange and yellow-green, the ideal fireplace screens will be those that are finished with black, gold, rust, bronze, copper and any shade of brown finish.

3. Fireplace Screen Size

There are so many sizes and shapes of fireplaces. They can either be single paneled or have more to create a curved effect. The simplest fireplace screen would be the single panel because this can simply be placed in a straight line across the fireplace while a multi-paneled one seems a bit more complicated especially when you want to get this as your fireplace’s screen.

4. How Do You Know What Size Is Right?

– Measure the width of your fireplace

– Add 10 to 12 inches to the width taken above. This is the ideal width of the fireplace screen you should get.

– Measure the height of your fireplace.

– Add 3 to 5 inches to the height measurement you took above. This is the ideal height of the fireplace screen you should get.

Both extra inches added to both measurements ensure some allowance for the screen to fold and to avoid it from tipping over. Always make sure that you compare the dimensions that you were able to derive from the measurements to the dimensions of the fireplace screen products you are interested in purchasing.

Selecting the Best Wheelchair Cushion

Although your wheelchair and cushion are separate purchases, which chair you choose is significantly affected by the type of cushion you will use. Chair and cushion are a team, each influencing the other. The proper combination of chair and cushion will enable you to sit in a neutral and stable posture and to operate the chair safely.
Cushions come in various depths and sizes which need to be accommodated by the size of your wheelchair frame. The actual length of footrests, the height of the chair back, the position of armrests, and other features are influenced by how high or low you will be sitting on a cushion. Clearly, you need to decide which cushion is best for you before you can make a final decision about which chair is best, certainly before you specify the exact dimensions of your chair.
Wheelchair cushion development is quite lively, as designers and engineers continue the quest for the ideal cushion. A number of manufacturers, such as Jay and Roho, exist solely for the design and production of seating and support systems for wheelchairs. Most of the major wheelchair makers, including Everest & Jennings, Invacare/Pindot, and Otto Bock Reha also offer an assortment of cushions.
Cushion design is by no means a simple topic, and there are many choices to make as you decide on the right one for you. This chapter discusses the four basic types of cushions–foam, gel, air floatation, and urethane honeycomb–as well as designs and systems for more specialized needs.
Cushion function
What kind of cushion you choose will depend on a variety of factors, including how much time you spend in your chair, how much you move around in your chair, and how stable your posture is.
One important task of the wheelchair cushion is the prevention of pressure sores. Since, when we sit, only one third of the body’s surface is supporting all of its weight, blood flow is restricted. In the presence of muscle atrophy–which is experienced in particular by many people with spinal cord injuries–circulation is limited further by the loss of muscle which once served as a sort of natural cushion. An additional risk of sitting is shear force, as we tend to slide forward in the cushion, causing stress across the surface of the skin. Resulting pressure sores (decubitus ulcers) can be very serious, leading to hospitalization, surgery, and–though rare–even death. The right cushion is a primary tool for maintaining the health of your skin.
The other crucial task for a cushion is postural stability. Even if you are able to walk or are an amputee with sufficient built-in cushioning, the right cushion helps to support your spine. If you already have some asymmetry in your body, you need to be supported in a way that will not increase any spinal deformity. For manual chair users, greater stability in your chair also means you can push the wheels with more confidence and strength.
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Foam cushions
Foam technology has come a long way. No longer just the soft, airy stuff of the past, foam now comes in a range of densities and with varying degrees of “memory,” holding its shape as you sit, contributing to your stability. The new foams can adapt to any shape, and still provide even support, spreading pressure across the sitting surface. Different foams are often used in combination, layered for their various properties of softness, even support, and memory.
Foam is relatively inexpensive, and it is easy to cut. A therapist can experiment with shapes free of financial risk. If you have an area of skin that is broken down or on the verge, pressure can easily be reduced by cutting out a portion of the cushion. (You should not do this on your own, though, because only a doctor or therapist can identify the changes in your cushion that will help relieve pressure while still maintaining appropriate support.)
On the downside, foam wears out faster than other materials and loses its shape, but because of its lower price, this might not concern you. If you choose a foam cushion, be sure to replace it when its time is up. Old foam that is compressed can allow pressure points to form that can lead to a sore.
If you choose a gel or air flotation cushion for daily use, it is a good idea to have a backup foam cushion since gel and air flotation cushions can leak.
Gel cushions
Gel cushion designs attempt, in effect, to replace the consistency and support of atrophied muscle tissue. Highly engineered gel fluids are placed in pouches and usually attached to a foam base, so that the cushion conforms to the pressures placed on it. As a result, gel cushions provide excellent pressure distribution and are very comfortable. Many gel products also offer supplemental inserts to stabilize your legs. Your knees might tend to fall together (adduction) or apart (abduction), so such an accessory can help keep your legs straight which also aids your overall posture.
Unfortunately, gel cushions are much heavier than other types, which can cancel out some of the benefits of your lightweight wheelchair. Gel suppliers such as Jay and Flofit offer lighter, active-use designs, but these might not be appropriate for you if you are unable to do your own pressure-relief lifts.
If you bounce up and down curbs, or commonly experience similar impact in your chair, a gel cushion might not be ideal. When you sit in a gel cushion, there is no further “cushiness” to absorb impact, a concept known as impact loading. Other cushion types are better able to absorb impact.
Another drawback to gel cushions is the possibility of them “bottoming-out” as the gel is pushed aside by your weight. You can help prevent this distribution problem by kneading your gel cushion once a day, keeping the fluids loose and spread evenly. Look for a design that divides the gel portion into several sections so that all of the gel cannot push to the sides.
There is also the chance of the gel leaking. While cushions arrive with patching kits, patches are ineffective when the breach is at a seam, which is often the case. A leak might be very minor, or it could be an extremely messy affair.
Air or dry floatation cushions
Air floatation cushions support the body entirely on air. A typical example is the Roho cushion, designed with a group of small, interconnected rubber balloons arranged in rows. Pressure is balanced by air shifting out to surrounding balloons, spreading pressure evenly against your skin. The whole system is closed so air floatation cushions can’t bottom out the way gel cushions can.
If you have a pressure sore, you can tie off individual balloons to reduce contact under that area, allowing you to spend more time sitting as the sore heals. The Roho Quadtro allows the user to inflate four quadrants separately for optimal positioning. Air cushions are relatively lightweight, and are waterproof, allowing for double duty in the bathtub or on a boat.
Crown Therapeutics, maker of the Roho cushions, also offers air floatation products for the wheelchair back, supplemental lumbar or sacral support, full bed cushions, and even a product for a standard toilet seat. All are inflatable to adjust to your needs.
A longtime presence in disability magazines has been an ad for the “Bye-Bye Decubiti” cushion. It is inflatable, comes in many different sizes and shapes, is made of heavy duty rubber, and–although different from the Roho balloon design–is uniquely formed to minimize pressure at the bony protrusions on which we sit.
Air cushions can be less stable for those who move around a lot in their chair, but recent designs offer either low profile or quadrant options that minimize this problem. The balloons used in air cushions can be punctured, of course, and leaks do occur, although a fairly heavy duty rubber is used. But patching them is easier than with the gel design. The hard part is submerging the cushion under water to find the leak (look for escaping air bubbles).
The biggest drawback to air cushions is that they require more maintenance. It is necessary to check the pressure frequently, especially if you have pressure sores.
Urethane honeycomb cushions
Thermoplastic urethane honeycomb cushions are the most recent development in the world of cushions. Because there are many individual cells–like a beehive–these cushions are able to distribute weight evenly, but there is no risk of leaking gel or of an air bladder being punctured. The many open spaces in the beehive structure of the cushion allow air to travel more effectively. This design helps to protect against skin breakdown because your skin is kept cooler and moisture is prevented from collecting.
Urethane honeycomb cushions are very light, absorb shock, and a low profile cushion can provide significant support. These cushions can even be thrown into your washing machine and dryer, making them attractive for people with incontinence problems where the cushion will be soiled from time to time despite best efforts at bowel and bladder management.
Supracor of San Jose, California, makes several honeycomb cushions based on their patent. One type uses multiple layers of varying stiffness to allow your sit bones to sink into the cushion while deeper layers provide overall support and weight distribution. Another type is contoured to provide adduction and abduction, plus a rear dish for pelvic positioning. There is not much of a track record for urethane honeycomb cushions because of their recent development, but there appears to be good prospects for this type of cushion to evolve and become more widely used.
Alternating pressure
The latest territory being explored in cushion design is the use of an air pump to create alternating pressure, of particular interest to those with more severe disabilities who are unable to perform their own weight shifts to relieve pressure.
Sitting for extensive periods of time without pressure relief causes the muscle and fatty tissues to separate, putting the delicate skin layer in closer contact with the bone. This creates even more pressure on the skin. Lack of air circulation increases the temperature between you and the cushion. Moisture collects and is trapped against the skin. All of this further increases the risk of a sore.
One alternating pressure solution is the ErgoDynamic Seating System from ErgoAir in New Hampshire. This system pumps air into and out of alternating portions of the cushion. The product is contoured for pelvic stability, with a pre-ischial cross-bar design that prevents forward slipping–and therefore shear–on the cushion. Special vent holes serve to allow the flow of air and moisture. In a five-minute cycle, compartments are inflated and deflated to shift support alternately between the ischial (sit) bones and the hips. Both areas get regular periods of complete pressure relief. The manufacturer likens it to a massage while you sit, with the resulting promotion of blood flow. In some cases, the makers suggest, a pressure sore can even heal while you sit. This cushion system can be plugged into some power chair batteries or charged in a cigarette lighter in your car.
Alternating pressure products are of course heavier–given their use of batteries and air pumps–and, like air floatation cushions, prone to puncture. However, the technology for these innovative systems is likely to evolve further in the future, as new materials and batteries are developed.
Positioning systems
Advanced needs such as significant spinal curvatures or asymmetries in your body require more complex kinds of trunk support. For example, the Pindot system, recently acquired by Invacare and available from suppliers around the country, is a support system which customizes seat and back cushions to your exact shape. First, a special chair takes an imprint of your body’s shape. A therapist views a computer image of the shape and can customize the contours of your cushion. From your imprint and the therapist’s specifications, a foam cushion that gives you optimal support is manufactured specifically for you. The Pindot system is of most value to people who will not move around much in their chair. Since the cushion is formed to your shape, you will only be comfortable in it when you sit in the right relationship to the customized contours.
Your needs might require the services of a rehab engineer who custom designs your seating system. A rehab engineer might adapt existing products or build something from scratch just for you. Your therapist or dealer should be aware of such people in your area. Often they are working in a major hospital or university. The Veteran’s Administration is also involved in research and engineering that addresses the need for customized positioning systems.

SLAS How To Choose Fine Linens For Your Home

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Nothing changes the look of a bedroom quicker than a fresh set of bed linens. If you have a bathroom “en suite” it’s also easy today to find coordinating bath linens to match the bedroom linens. Today it’s fun to mix and match linens, and many designers have their own design lines that mix florals with stripes and geometrics. Choosing fine linens for your bed and bath can be initially costly, but as with any purchase of quality made items you will enjoy fine linen sheets and …

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Nothing changes the look of a bedroom quicker than a fresh set of bed linens. If you have a bathroom “en suite” it’s also easy today to find coordinating bath linens to match the bedroom linens. Today it’s fun to mix and match linens, and many designers have their own design lines that mix florals with stripes and geometrics. Choosing fine linens for your bed and bath can be initially costly, but as with any purchase of quality made items you will enjoy fine linen sheets and towels for years to come.

True linen, which is stronger than any other natural fiber has actually been dated back to the stone age. It has also been found that the linen wrappings from Egyptian mummies are still pliable, thousands of years later. The more linen is used the softer it becomes. It can absorb up to 20% of it’s weight in moisture before it feels damp and air drys quickly. An Irish linen tea-towel can last five to seven or more years, depending on the amount of use. Linen will dry and shine your glasses superior to that of cotton or any other blend. Flax linen is also non-allergenic.

When choosing sheets for your bed you will want to keep in mind thread counts. The higher the thread count the more luxurious and smoother feel the sheet will have. High thread count sheets are also more durable than sheets with low thread counts. High quality linen sheets can last up to twenty ears. As mentioned above, linen sheets will soften with use.

When looking for blankets for your bed you may want to choose a wool blanket for winter and a thermal blanket for spring, summer and fall use when there tends to be warm and cool nights. Thermal blankets are comfortable in warm weather. Wool which can be very light weight and dense is also extremely warm.

Flannel sheets come in all types of colors and designs and are favored by many for comfortable cold weather sleeping. 100% cotton well made flannel sheets will “puff up” after washing feeling softer with each washing.

SLAS How To Choose Curtains Or Blinds For Your Home

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For the best Patios Dublin company, call Sandyford Landscaping Dublin.

The curtains or blinds of a window can make or break the interior design of any place, whether a house, an office or even a restaurant. Curtains and blinds can make homes look sophisticated and feel comfortable. It is thus important that people have an understanding of the importance of choosing the right curtains or blinds for their windows.

A change in the curtains or blinds of a window can make a difference in the total atmosphere of a home. Homeowners who are in a tigh…

window coverings, curtains, blinds

To find the best Patios Dublin company, click here for Sandyford Landscaping Dublin.
The curtains or blinds of a window can make or break the interior design of any place, whether a house, an office or even a restaurant. Curtains and blinds can make homes look sophisticated and feel comfortable. It is thus important that people have an understanding of the importance of choosing the right curtains or blinds for their windows.

A change in the curtains or blinds of a window can make a difference in the total atmosphere of a home. Homeowners who are in a tight budget can fix up their windows and they can already get an instant change in their interiors at lesser cost.

Curtains and blinds are both aesthetic and functional because they keep the privacy of a home while improving its interior. It also keeps dust and prying eyes away from your home.

The type of curtain that should be placed in a window should match the interior design of a home. A classical home design calls for silky window curtains that can add elegance to the home. However, homeowners who prefer country style interiors should opt for curtains with flowery or other designs depicting the outdoors or the countryside.

The choice of curtain should also be influenced by the type of room where such curtains would be placed. A girls window can be decorated with dainty curtains while a mans bedroom can be decorated with a no nonsense curtain that matches the color preference of the room occupant.

There various curtain designs to choose from depending on the preferences of the homeowner. There are unlined curtains; hourglass curtains and no sew curtains. The homeowner can also choose form a variety of colors and design for the curtains.

However, a homeowner can choose the right curtains but ruin the overall effect if the window is left dusty and unkempt. It is important to keep windows clean and free of dust before adorning them with curtains or blinds. It should be noted that curtains can attract dust and other allergens so better make sure they are regularly replaced and washed,

For those who have allergies, the best way to decorate windows is through the use of vinyl blinds. Vinyl blinds are not as susceptible to keeping dust as long as they are wiped with a clean cloth daily. Like curtains, there are various types of vinyl blinds to choose from. There are vertical blinds and there are horizontal blinds. You can also have your windows fitted for the exact blind size.

Whatever kind of window treatment you choose to install, make sure that it serves its purpose, both functional and artistic.

Relieve Emotional and Physical Pain Quickly with Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT)

Innovative Power Therapies Provide Simple Techniques to Deal with Trauma
Recent years have seen the development of a family of therapies that offer clinically effective alternatives to traditional, long-term treatments. These Power Therapies only require one to three sessions, but the results are usually permanent. Each of them provides noticeable relief from negative emotions, pain, and trauma by “rewiring neural pathways” in the brain.
It doesn’t matter whether the pain suffered is physical or emotional. These methods bring relief from fears and traumas such as: phobias, depression, grief, rape, natural disasters, crime, childhood sexual abuse, and post traumatic stress. Although their methods differ from each other in emphasis and approach, Power Therapies all work by interrupting old habits and reflexes that were established around the painful incidents.
Painful reactions are replaced with non-distressful ones. These methods work by triggering brain activity below the level of conscious control. Emotional intensity also goes down. Relieving lifelong problems in moments seem to defy logic, but a body of documented scientific studies prove the benefits are real. Fortunately, a person doesn’t have to believe in these techniques for them to work.
EFT is Easy Enough for a Person to Learn to Do in Minutes
It doesn’t matter whether their pain results from something recent or from long ago – or whether or not the cause is known. EFT (Emotional Freedom Therapy) works on both the emotional level and the physical level. The mind focuses on the pain or problem at the same time that another response is introduced, whereby a neutral response replaces a painful one.
Everyone suffers from self-limiting fears to some extent. But some people are paralyzed by them. From my experience, the most powerful fears are the unconscious ones. During the tapping sequence with my clients, after one fear gets cleared, another one comes up to be healed.
Once people learn how the tapping is done, it’s simple enough for them to use on themselves whenever they sense fear or pain. Find more information at my website, http://www.susanquinn.net or at Gary Craig’s extensive EFT website, http://www.emofree.com He offers a free, downloadable instruction manual on that site, with tons of how-to and case studies.
Click here for more information on The Best 8 Quiet Blenders of 2022 With 14 Delicious Recipes. Or click here if you’re looking for information on 23 Best Heavy Duty Degreasers for your HomeIt was developed by Gary Craig, who simplified Roger Callahan’s revolutionary Thought Field Therapy (TFT). TFT therapists follow complex tapping sequences (protocols) for numerous symptom categories. By contrast, EFT taps on the same meridian points on the face and body for every problem.
Rather than focusing on the traumatic memories (as with most talk-it-out therapies), EFT addresses the true cause, the disruption of the body’s energy system. It’s unnecessary for a person to relive the painful memories.
EFT works directly on the energy points (meridian system) of the body. Like acupuncture, relief comes (in part) from stimulating the meridians. Only, instead of needles, the person’s meridians are tapped with the fingers. Whether EFT is performed by a therapist or self-applied, over 80 percent of people achieve noticeable improvement or complete cessation of the problem.
EFT Applies the Same Steps to Any Negative Emotion
Craig’s system is based on the concept, “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” He reasons, since every negative emotion has the same cause (an electrical disruption – a “zzzzzt”) they can all be relieved in a similar manner. It’s unnecessary to focus on diagnosis (or delve into the old wounds) to be successful with EFT.
EFT Simplified Sequence:
– Identify the problem
– Apply the Basic Recipe
– Relief – Complete; Partial; None
– Test and re-apply if necessary
– Apply Adjusted Basic Recipe
Each element must be performed precisely as described, and in the proper order. Every round of tapping takes about one minute. Tapping can be done by either hand, on either side of the body. Tap solidly with the index and middle finger on each tapping point about seven times.
The Basic Recipe Starts with the Setup
The person starts by identifying their fear, negative emotion, or trauma.
“Even though I have this __________, I deeply and completely accept myself.”
Fill in the blank with a short phrase about the problem being addressed, for example: “anger toward my father” or “nightmares.”Sometimes a person can’t “accept themselves,” so we might tap on just that at first – as in, “Even though I can’t accept myself for this and I hate myself right now, I am willing to be willing to accept myself.”
Repeat the statement out loud three times, while simultaneously tapping the “karate chop” point on the side of the hand (or two specific points on the chest). The “karate chop” point (abbreviated KC) is located at the side of the hand about an inch below the baby finger. Vigorously tap the point with the fingertips of the index finger and middle finger of the other hand. While either hand will work, it’s usually most convenient to tap the KC of the non-dominant hand with the fingers of the dominant hand.
This is followed by the Sequence of tapping again. Modify the Setup statement, based on the new issue(s) that might present itself. Then tap another round. Do as many rounds as necessary until the problem is gone. That may require several sessions.
Example of a Client Session
For my clients, I combine EFT with hypnosis and EMDR http://www.quintal.net/subjectPages/emdrtechniques.htm (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – another Power Therapy). Treatments are custom tailored to each person’s particular needs. My success rate is over 80% of clients reporting 60% to 100% reduction of symptoms after treatment.
PROBLEM: A woman in her 30’s is afraid to have some mandatory surgery. She’s terrified of them putting the anesthetic tube down her throat, as in a previous surgery.
FEELING or BELIEF: “I will choke to death” is the belief. FEAR is the feeling that she experienced. The woman rated her level of fear a ten (on a one-to-ten scale), as she recalled the prior operation when she thought she was choking.
First, EMDR (another Power Therapy) lowered the fear. She said after processing with the Eye Movements that the fear went down to a level seven. The belief was, I will be alone (and die that way).
When we started EFT, I had her tap the set-up point on the hand and say with me three times: “Even though I am afraid I will be left alone to die, and that I am helpless, and I judge myself for having this fear, I completely accept myself right now.”
We did one round of tapping on “This FEAR.” Then she reported feeling cold and alone. She remembered a skiing accident when she was lost in the snow for a few hours (where she felt she was surely going to die alone).
We tapped on different aspects of this incident for several rounds. Then she recalled other fears she’s had in her life, which we tapped on. Then we tapped on the humiliation she’s felt for having certain fears. Events that are attached to the same feeling (this type of fear) all come up, one after another.
After we had tapped on each one until it was gone, she measured her level of disturbance around that issue. It was now down to a two. We tapped on “this remaining fear” and it came down to a zero.
Then she made a deep sigh, and her face registered a sense of relief and peace. The new belief: “I am strong and have survived many things that would kill most people.” We tapped this belief in with several rounds. This strengthens the belief even more.
We went back to the memory of the FIRST operation, where she got her tube phobia. She focused on this memory (and checked inside her body for the feeling that went with it). She reported she felt no fear at all.
I had her “run a movie” in her mind of this first operation, from beginning to end; and at the same time, she was to monitor her body for any feeling of fear. I asked her to tell me if she felt any sense of fear as she recounted the experience in detail. At one place in her story, she felt fear of about six. After several rounds of tapping on this, the fear went to zero. We then repeated this process with her “running a movie” of the original experience in her mind. This time she got all the way through the story with no feelings of fear. At the next session the fears were at zero as well.
Two later sessions Future Paced how she’d deal with the surgery with her family and office mates. Future Pacing is a way to create the behavior we want to have in a future situation, through imagery enhanced with EMDR and EFT.
She called me several months later to report that she’d gone through the surgery with very little fear. When she felt some fear, she tapped on it using EFT. And it went away. She was grateful for the work we did, because she was also able to ride the train to San Diego with her husband (something she’d never been able to do).
Eliminate Everyday Fear and Frustrations as they Arise
The most amazing thing about EFT – clearing these fears removes scary and self-limiting beliefs that have been driving a person their whole life. The beliefs that have the most power are unconscious, so they have to be carefully teased out.
I teach these simple-to-learn EFT techniques to all my clients, including children (who are very good at this) because I think it’s a wonderful tool for managing their anxiety and other negative emotions. People who learn to discharge their fears right away are pleased to discover they don’t have to be afraid of them any more.
© 2006, Susan Quinn